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How Much Does it Cost to Make a Game App?

How Much Does it Cost to Make a Game App?

Invogames

Game Development

|

February 6, 2024

|

2 min read

Well, there is no clear answer to the cost of game-making since we must define what we mean by a 'game' and what it means to 'make' one. 

 

If you wanted a really brief response, it would be between $0 and $265 million. 

 

Anyone can get free game development tools and make a game for fun. 

 

But even with free ones, consider other costs, like time, computer power, internet access, and labor hours.

 

Game App Costing: Easy Math

 

We hear, "the cost of developing a video game depends on its complexity," but we don't truly comprehend what it means. 

 

Everything is really simple: the complexity is relative to how long it takes to make a game. And more time equals higher wages for team members. 

 

Can you assess the cost of developing a video game yourself? Why not? This is basic math. 

 

Obtain the Following Information

 

  • How many individuals will be working on your project?

 

  • The typical compensation for a developer in the region you like.

 

  • Estimate project duration.

 

As a result, you receive a statistic representing the net average wage of persons. You can divert from it, but not for the ultimate price.

 

First, the team arrangement may change throughout the project. The concept artist quits the project after completing his or her work, but the 3D animator has just joined. 

 

When calculating the cost of developing a video game, remember that marketing costs range from 20% to 100% of the production budget.

 

Game Cost Calculation

 

Let's test a little calculation. Say 10 people from a development studio in California work on your game. The studio estimated that the development time for the game is six months. 

 

Considering the average salary of a developer, $40 per hour, 8 working hours in a day, and an average of 20 working days in a month, we get:

 

average salary of a developer

 

We have the amount that should be paid for the team's work, given that the team's structure is stable throughout the project. Likewise, you can make your calculation by replacing the required numbers with the formula:

 

calculation by replacing the required numbers

 

This is your simple way to find out the answer to the question, "How Much Does it Cost to Make a Game App."

 

Nonetheless, the cost of game development varies with the scope of the project. For example, AAA games demand massive budgets, while indie and mobile games face unique development challenges. 

 

Scalability creates massive differences in their overall game cost.

 

However, as some of the great indie classics prove, creating a game on a tight budget is completely possible.

 

How much does it cost to create a mobile game?

 

Estimates for the total cost of developing an indie game vary greatly. Auroch Digital, an independent studio, estimated the price to be between $50,000 and $750,000, while others speculated it could be in the millions.

 

Make sure to make sure those figures are precise, though. Astronarch created their auto-battling adventure for less than $250. Game-Stats.com now estimates that the game's lifetime income will be $160,000.

 

Vampire Survivors, a shooting game that took the indie industry by storm in late 2022, only cost roughly $1,500 to develop and earned $7 million in its first month after leaving Early Access. How's that for a ROI?

 

How Much Does It Cost To Create a AAA Game?

 

AAA games are supported by multibillion-dollar firms such as Activision and Square Enix. 

 

Some AAA franchises enjoy yearly releases (even if their players don't always love them), while others, such as Halo and Final Fantasy, have more spaced-out releases.

 

Given the scale of many of these titles, AAA games can require tens of millions of dollars to develop. 

 

In reality, one of the most expensive video games ever created is a AAA title, Cyberpunk 2077, which cost a whopping $174 million to produce, with an additional $142 million for marketing.

 

A series like Call of Duty needs the collaboration of numerous production companies to work on multiple games simultaneously to achieve holiday deadlines years in advance. 

 

Each studio requires millions of dollars to conduct everyday operations, pay employees, and sell the finished product.

 

How Can You Fund Your Game?

 

The whole point of being a game developer is that you don't have access to the millions of cash publishers offer their development teams. So, how do independent developers raise upwards of $50,000?

 

Some of the most popular ways are:

 

most popular ways

 

Self-financing 

 

All funds come from the developers' pockets. Unless they're doing an extremely well-paying day job, expenditures are typically chipped away at over many years, which can prolong the development process.

 

Game sales 

 

Independent developers like Gagonfe, who generate enough money from their games to create a profession out of game development, reinvest sales revenues into making new games.

 

Crowdfunding campaigns 

 

Many successful independent games have started crowdfunding campaigns to speed up their production cycles, add additional content, or finish their project.

 

Early Access 

 

Not only can you earn money by selling Early Access to your game, but you can also get feedback from the community to help you find and address bugs.

 

Indie developer Toby Fox independently financed the development of the critically acclaimed RPG Undertale, while the team behind the popular game Celeste, Maddy Makes Games, secured USD 57,000 through a successful crowdfunding campaign.


We have been making games for over a decade now, and know every sharp turn and short route to winning games. Let’s talk.

Well, there is no clear answer to the cost of game-making since we must define what we mean by a 'game' and what it means to 'make' one. 

 

If you wanted a really brief response, it would be between $0 and $265 million. 

 

Anyone can get free game development tools and make a game for fun. 

 

But even with free ones, consider other costs, like time, computer power, internet access, and labor hours.

 

Game App Costing: Easy Math

 

We hear, "the cost of developing a video game depends on its complexity," but we don't truly comprehend what it means. 

 

Everything is really simple: the complexity is relative to how long it takes to make a game. And more time equals higher wages for team members. 

 

Can you assess the cost of developing a video game yourself? Why not? This is basic math. 

 

Obtain the Following Information

 

  • How many individuals will be working on your project?

 

  • The typical compensation for a developer in the region you like.

 

  • Estimate project duration.

 

As a result, you receive a statistic representing the net average wage of persons. You can divert from it, but not for the ultimate price.

 

First, the team arrangement may change throughout the project. The concept artist quits the project after completing his or her work, but the 3D animator has just joined. 

 

When calculating the cost of developing a video game, remember that marketing costs range from 20% to 100% of the production budget.

 

Game Cost Calculation

 

Let's test a little calculation. Say 10 people from a development studio in California work on your game. The studio estimated that the development time for the game is six months. 

 

Considering the average salary of a developer, $40 per hour, 8 working hours in a day, and an average of 20 working days in a month, we get:

 

average salary of a developer

 

We have the amount that should be paid for the team's work, given that the team's structure is stable throughout the project. Likewise, you can make your calculation by replacing the required numbers with the formula:

 

calculation by replacing the required numbers

 

This is your simple way to find out the answer to the question, "How Much Does it Cost to Make a Game App."

 

Nonetheless, the cost of game development varies with the scope of the project. For example, AAA games demand massive budgets, while indie and mobile games face unique development challenges. 

 

Scalability creates massive differences in their overall game cost.

 

However, as some of the great indie classics prove, creating a game on a tight budget is completely possible.

 

How much does it cost to create a mobile game?

 

Estimates for the total cost of developing an indie game vary greatly. Auroch Digital, an independent studio, estimated the price to be between $50,000 and $750,000, while others speculated it could be in the millions.

 

Make sure to make sure those figures are precise, though. Astronarch created their auto-battling adventure for less than $250. Game-Stats.com now estimates that the game's lifetime income will be $160,000.

 

Vampire Survivors, a shooting game that took the indie industry by storm in late 2022, only cost roughly $1,500 to develop and earned $7 million in its first month after leaving Early Access. How's that for a ROI?

 

How Much Does It Cost To Create a AAA Game?

 

AAA games are supported by multibillion-dollar firms such as Activision and Square Enix. 

 

Some AAA franchises enjoy yearly releases (even if their players don't always love them), while others, such as Halo and Final Fantasy, have more spaced-out releases.

 

Given the scale of many of these titles, AAA games can require tens of millions of dollars to develop. 

 

In reality, one of the most expensive video games ever created is a AAA title, Cyberpunk 2077, which cost a whopping $174 million to produce, with an additional $142 million for marketing.

 

A series like Call of Duty needs the collaboration of numerous production companies to work on multiple games simultaneously to achieve holiday deadlines years in advance. 

 

Each studio requires millions of dollars to conduct everyday operations, pay employees, and sell the finished product.

 

How Can You Fund Your Game?

 

The whole point of being a game developer is that you don't have access to the millions of cash publishers offer their development teams. So, how do independent developers raise upwards of $50,000?

 

Some of the most popular ways are:

 

most popular ways

 

Self-financing 

 

All funds come from the developers' pockets. Unless they're doing an extremely well-paying day job, expenditures are typically chipped away at over many years, which can prolong the development process.

 

Game sales 

 

Independent developers like Gagonfe, who generate enough money from their games to create a profession out of game development, reinvest sales revenues into making new games.

 

Crowdfunding campaigns 

 

Many successful independent games have started crowdfunding campaigns to speed up their production cycles, add additional content, or finish their project.

 

Early Access 

 

Not only can you earn money by selling Early Access to your game, but you can also get feedback from the community to help you find and address bugs.

 

Indie developer Toby Fox independently financed the development of the critically acclaimed RPG Undertale, while the team behind the popular game Celeste, Maddy Makes Games, secured USD 57,000 through a successful crowdfunding campaign.


We have been making games for over a decade now, and know every sharp turn and short route to winning games. Let’s talk.

Writer InvoGames

Written By:

Kammil Sarbuland
Content Writer

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